• Electro Harmonix Hot Wax – The ultimate dual overdrive for your Gilmour tones?

    Electro Harmonix Hot Wax

    I get a lot of questions about the modern dual overdrives and how they apply to David Gilmour’s tones. Not all of them do obviously as they’re clearly aimed at a different audience but I recently got the Hot Wax from Electro Harmonix and it’s become one of my favourite overdrive pedals.

    The Hot Wax is a fairly new pedal that feature both the classic Hot Tubes booster and the more modern sounding Crayon.

    The Hot Tubes is a transparent booster that’s designed to boost or drive the front end of a tube amp. It’s an excellent alternative to the Coloursound Power Boost David used in the 70s. The Hot Wax also feature a dual band EQ, allowing even more control over the tone.

    The Crayon is no doubt based on that full range overdrive character of the Tube Driver, Boss BD-2 etc. I’ve been asked to review that for some time and I’m really surprised over how good it sounds.

    It’s got a bit more mid range and compression compared to both the Tube Driver and BD-2 and in that sense probably a bit easier to set up on different amps. It’s got a lot of gain but a nice amount of headroom too.

    You can combine both circuits although I would have wanted a switch, like the one featured on the Keeley D&M Drive, allowing you to toggle the order of the circuits. Still, combining the two offer a lot of gain and you can easily use the Hot Wax for anything from clean boost to heavy distortion.

    In the video I’ve set up some of my favourite Gilmour tones.

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34 Responsesso far.

  1. David says:

    Hey Bjorn, would you put the green russian big muff before or after the hot wax (laney cub 12r)? I’ve been having trouble with having my russian big muff cut through the mix.

  2. Raphael says:

    Hey Bjorn your site is amazing not only for the Pink Floyd enthusiast but for every guitar player interested in tone!

    Do you think that the crayon is capable of doing that aggresive overdrive in DSOTM, WYWH and Animals?? (like rhythm guitar in time, pigs or the fills in sheep) The reviews in youtube shows very low gain in the crayon so I’m a little confused. I know by your review that the hot tubes seems more authentic but i find the crayon more versatile with the eq knobs

    Thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words! Yes, the Crayon has a lot of gain so it’s definitely capable of doing that Cigar/Pigs kind of overdrive. Very similar to the Tube Driver and Power Boost.

  3. Jcdusse says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    If I buy a EHX HOT TUBES NANO in order to use it as a “colorsound powerboost clone, Will it work nicely with the Boss RT20 for Animals tones?
    I was about to buy a vick audio overdriver but you’written that it wouldn’t accept buffered Boss pedals.

    Thanks for your help.
    Jean Claude.

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the Hot Tubes and RT20 in combo but I imagine it would work. Keep in mind though that the Hot Tubes is not a Power Boost, although you can get similar tones. Like the Power Boost, the Hot Tubes also require the right amp as explained in this feature.

  4. Sebastien says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    A long time ago I wanted to replicate animals tone, using my Boss Rt-20 with a colorsound Powerboost clone. At this time you told me that the Rt20 wouldn’t like to be paired with the vick Audio Overdriver. And that it would be paired easily with the Buffalo Powerbooster.
    I guess it is a matter of buffered pedals…
    I d like to know if the Ehx Hot Tubes, intended to be a clone of the Colorsound Powerboost (or Overdriver), would be a great choice to be paired with my Boss RT 20 for that “animals” tone?
    It is indeed less expensive than Buffalo…

    Comgratz for you last Lp wich I.love BTW.

    • Bjorn says:

      The Hot Tubes is not a clone of the Power Boost but it’s tonewise in the same ballpark. It works nicely with the RT20.

  5. Marco says:

    Hey Bjorn, would this pedal work on a Fender Twin Reverb?


  6. Philippe says:

    Hi Bjorn, to your ears and your setup …. which one gets closer to the coloursound PB and let’s say WYWH and Animals : the EHX hot tubes OR crayon
    Best regards

  7. Silvio says:

    Hi Bjorn. Today the Hot wax has just arrived. I wanted to thank you, a beautiful pedal, fantastic sound. On my hot rod de luxe III it sounds great. Recommended! Thanks again!

  8. Silvio says:

    Hi Bjorn. I wanted to ask you if the crayon side alone has more or less gain compared to a Boss bd-2 (and also compared to an ocd). One last thing: has more mids than an ocd? Greetings!

  9. Hi Bjorn, great playing and great article…which would you buy TD-X or EHX Crayon?

    Many thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks! Depends on the amp. I’m using the TDX as it’s closer to the Tube Driver, which I only use for recording these days. The Crayon is perhaps easier to dial in on different types of amps, as it has a bit more mids and compression.

  10. Brad Roller says:

    Nice! Awesome review.

  11. Yes, nice sounding pedals, but the shared EQ probably wouldn’t work for me.

  12. Ofir says:

    Excellent demonstration!!

    • Kshitij Tiwari says:

      Was considering buying either a crayon or hot tubes to put after my big muff nano? Which one would you suggest??
      P.S. I use blackstar amps so tons of midrange as well low end lol.

      • Bjorn says:

        Why not buy the Hot Wax? Very versatile and you get both pedals in one.

        • Kshitij Tiwari says:

          Yeah. It’s the same price as a blues driver rn, but I have an unhealthy amount of boss pedals and a lack of true bypass on my board. So I can buy that. I’m wondering how it’ll react after my big muff nano. I find that it’s lost in the mix. Honestly not a bad thing when you’re going for that sound but I hate it when I’m going for a lead sound. I have a rat but there’s nothing quite like that big muff sustain. I specifically like to get in the comfortably numb ball park as that’s probably my fav solo. I do have a tube screamer but as you said it just chokes the muff to death. So would you suggest a hot wax for me? Also thank you for this site. You have no idea how much you’ve helped me out. Peace.

          • Bjorn says:

            Big Muffs traditionally have less mid range and compression so if you pair them with pedals with more mid range, they will cut through less. You can compensate for the lack of mids in a Muff by having an amp with more mids or using a booster or EQ with a bit of mids boost. The BD2 and Crayon has a fairly flat range, or full range as they’re called, but slightly more mids than a Muff.

  13. Chris chaney says:

    Great review. I may check this one out and give it a try.

  14. Carlos Eduardo says:

    Beautiful text Bjorn … for the credibility of your posts I bought the crayon 76 and I intend to add a Muff to the pedals … I am in doubt between the EHX Green Muff, EHX Triangle Muff or Rams Head (Vick audio). In these configurations what is the best amplifier for DG tones?

    Thank you…
    and happy New Year!

  15. Kim Foster says:

    Great review Bjorn, love your improvs of Shine On and Time, they were wonderful.

  16. Giuseppe says:

    Hi Bjorn, the pedal sounds good. But I’d like to listen both channels combined in a hi-gain sound for songs like Castell horizon, High hopes… And so on

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